At Retail Therapy, the questions of what would Audrey do or would Marilyn wear this are regular queries that determine what goes on the racks upon racks of silk tops, sparkling dresses and tweed blazers.
The North Shore shop adheres to the icons, as well as style figurehead Grace Kelly, to build an inventory of classic, tailored pieces for every day, work and parties.
Although Retail Therapy offers a selection for a wide range of ages and occasions, the focus on a timeless look taps into the growing appeal of updating the more traditional women’s wear of dresses and skirts.
“Dresses are so feminine. A dress can take you from work to dinner or from a stroll around the block to lunch,” said Amy Tucker, who with her mother, Sandra Kerfoot, and sister, Heather Kerfoot, owns Retail Therapy. “We try to encourage women to show off their curves, to show off their beauty.”
On the rack
The shop, which is located on the first floor of the One North Shore Building on Manufacturers Road, originally opened as Little Twig in 2010. The organic mommy and baby store was Tucker’s venture.
As her life transitioned with another child, the shop also transitioned to an added interest in fashion for mommies after the baby and women in general. The shift brought Sandra and Heather into the fold.
With backgrounds in design, fashion and business to pair with Tucker’s art expertise, the three women can collectively handle all aspects of Retail Therapy.
The shop carries brands such as Maggy London, London Times, Monteau, Pink Owl, and Bella T-shirts and accessories, such as Karine Sultan jewelry and Pouchee purse organizers. Beyond the charmingly arranged row of clothing racks are stands of chic jewelry, gifts and housewares. One corner of the store is still reserved for the mommy and baby stock from Little Twig, including cloth diapers and Earth Mamma Angel Baby skin care products.
The entire inventory is marked by a consciously regulated reasonable price point.
“That’s a big thing about our store: We try to stay very moderately price pointed so that everyone can come in and afford something,” Tucker said. “We’re driven by the price point, and we’ve found that people love to come in for the price. They could go to other stores in town and buy one outfit, or they could come here and buy several different pieces for the same price.”
In monetary terms, this mindset translates to a fashionable lace bustier for $33, gold-plated and sterling silver jewelry for $30 to $40, casual dresses for $55, leather jackets for $59 and blazers for $70.
Some of the cocktail dresses—the Maggy London pieces—can run at a high price point, such as $128 for a blue, V-neck structured dress.
All that sparkles
With Black Friday already here and the season of holiday events at hand, Retail Therapy can serve as a go-to closet filler for work parties, holiday get-togethers and dinners out on the town.
The classic inventory gives way to a few of the season's trends, including lace and sparkle, from a black and white strapless lace dress by Monteau to the crystal detail on a silver sleeveless number by Maggy London.
“Red is always great for the holidays, but we’re also seeing a lot of cobalt blue,” Tucker said.
In fact, Vogue noted the color’s presence on the Fashion Week catwalks of several couture and ready-to-wear designers as a trend for both autumn and winter 2012/2013.
For a complete outfit, Retail Therapy also offers the perfect Christmas or New Year’s Eve accessory: a gold sequin shoulder bag.